There's a remarkable New York Times profile on Janelle Monáe out today. The must-read piece by Jenna Wortham sees Monáe reflecting on the long path to her new album Dirty Computer, her first in five years. Monáe also spoke candidly about studio hangs with Chadwick Boseman and Lupita N'yongo, her 2008 Bad Boy signing, and the death of her mentor Prince in 2016. "This was the person that I would literally call and talk to about sounds or: ‘How should I say this? Is this saying too much?’" she said of the icon. "I just never could imagine a time where I couldn’t pick up the phone or email him, and he’d contact me right back and we’d talk about all these things that I was unsure of.”
In recent months, rumors about a reported relationship between Monáe and actress Tessa Thompson have only been fueled by Thompson's appearances in two of Monáe's most recent videos-even starring as her love interest in the clips. Monáe has never been forthcoming about her romantic life, and that didn't change in this interview either. Wortham notes that Monáe took her time answering to internet speculation about the nature of their relationship. "I hope people feel celebrated," she said with a laugh. "I hope they feel love. I hope they feel seen." Monáe did, however, mention that she was initially worried about what fans and deeply religious Southern family would think about her sexuality.
As the world becomes more accepting of various sexual identities, Monáe's coyness about her romantic life is still not likely to go away.
Read the full interview here.